"Jaipur Nama" is the story of one of India's most fascinating cities, as seen through the eyes of both its residents and its visitors, who witnessed and recorded different moments in Jaipur's history between the 18th and the 20th centuries. The triumphs, follies and foibles of its rulers, the passion and drama of palace intrigues, the splendour of royal rites and entertainments, and the bustle and energy of its bazaars and ateliers, all come to life through the vivid and detailed accounts of chroniclers as diverse as an Austrian Jesuit, a French naturalist, a court priest, a city merchant and a pilgrim from Banaras. Many of these accounts are here translated into English for the first time. Each reflects a different aspect of Jaipur, together creating a captivating, kaleidoscopic portrait of the Pink City. Linking these narratives are the observations, experiences and perceptions of the author, Giles Tillotson, who skilfully weaves the past into the present as he writes about the personalities who shaped the character of the city, the wonders of its architecture, and the development of its superb arts and crafts.
Entertaining, as well as scholarly, "Jaipur Nama" will appeal to a wide readership. For those who know Jaipur or plan to go there, this book will sharpen and enrich their experience of the city, while armchair travellers will find it a delightfully witty and knowledgeable companion.
Giles Tillotson is a writer and lecturer on Indian history and architecture. He was previously Reader in History of Art in the University of London (SOAS), and is also a former Director of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. His previous books include Rajput Palaces and Mughal India, the latter published by Penguin. He has been visiting and writing about Rajasthan for over twenty-five years, and currently lives in Gurgaon, near Delhi.